With all the tools and technology we now have at-hand, it’s a great time to be a demand-generation marketer.

Demand-gen is the umbrella under which all other customer-attention and early funnel efforts find their footing. With strong demand-gen leadership, many other marketing specialties can thrive.

Reaching new markets, building buzz, promoting new offerings, and initiating and nurturing customer relationships are just a few of the activities that demand-gen marketing takes the lead on. Success in those areas trickles down to almost every other marketing sphere, from PPC to inbound marketing to conversion optimization.

To become a demand-gen success, however, you must master these 5 skills.

Demand Gen Skill to Master #1: Google Analytics

How do you know that your demand-gen efforts are producing fruit? You look at the data.

Google Analytics is the widely accepted standard in content measurement tools – and the first thing every demand-gen marketer should master.

Even if you eventually move to a different analytics tool like Omniture, an understanding of Google Analytics is an important foundation for understanding tracking and reporting.

Only 21% of marketers are using analytics to measure marketing ROI for marketing engagement. In other words, most marketers are doing their jobs with blinders on.

Smart demand-gen marketers know better. They let the numbers be their guide.

Not sure where to begin? Google Analytics Academy is a great place to learn the fundamentals.


Demand Gen Skill to Master #2: Excel

Excel isn’t just for numbers people and data nerds. This Microsoft Office tool helps you make smarter, data-driven decisions.

With Excel, you can combine data from multiple sources, get a bigger picture of your demand-gen results, and get insights that analytics software alone can’t provide. It takes all that data and helps you see patterns, trends, and connections you wouldn’t have otherwise spotted.

“If you can become fluent in Excel, it enables you as a marketer to be 100 times more powerful at using data to drive your decisions, because you can analyze data from multiple systems and do analysis not possible in your software tools.” — Mike Volpe, Chief Marketing Officer at HubSpot

A great place to start is this HubSpot article with 10 Excel tricks for marketers.

Demand Gen Skill to Master #3: Designing a Marketing Experiment

Demand generation is equal parts art and science.

Optimizing content can dramatically increase the effectiveness of your demand-gen efforts. The only way to know what to optimize, however, is to test.

Marketing experiments give you the data and insights you need to make your content perform better, hit your lead generation goals, and create an optimum user experience.

Unfortunately, many marketers approach this with a “throwing spaghetti at the wall” methodology. Learning how to effectively design a marketing experiment will help you avoid wasting your time (and marketing budget).

Start with SnapApp’s Beginner’s Guide to Designing Marketing Experiments. That’ll get you on the road to success in no time.


Demand Gen Skill to Master #4: Ability to Assess New Technology Tools

Marketers have more technology at their disposal today than ever before. From CRMs to marketing automation systems to analytics software, you have a wide variety of powerful tools to choose from.

But as you know from being the excellent marketer you are, more choices can actually make it harder to decide what to use.

Smart marketers know how to do their homework and assess new technology tools. But they don’t stop at tool analysis. They also consider how the technology will align and integrate with the tools they already use and how it will impact their customers.

Scott Vaughan, CMO of Integrate, shared an effective assessment framework in his article on Chief Marketer. This is a great starting point for creating a process for assessing new technology tools and their potential impact on the business.

Still feeling overwhelmed by all the options? You’re not alone. This SnapApp post will help you get more clarity.


Image source: chiefmartech.com

Demand Gen Skill to Master #5: Creating a Clear Picture of the Buyer by Connecting Opportunity and Activity Data

Demand-gen marketers are experts at spotting opportunities. Really successful marketers, however, don’t forget the data.

Connecting opportunity and activity data can give you a clearer, more detailed picture of the buyer, and help you identify the best content type and placement. This of course leads to more robust buyer personas and a deeper understanding of the marketing landscape.

This clear picture also helps you weed out ineffective content, narrow in on the correct timing of offers, and eliminate unproductive locations from the marketing plan.

Where do you start? This Demand Gen Report article includes specific information on creating a structured approach.

Demand Gen Marketers Set the Bar

Demand-gen marketers create the systems that initiate the customer relationship and set all other marketing into motion. A successful demand generation program leads to more qualified sales opportunities.

Master the five skills in this post and you’ll get to the top of your demand-gen game faster and experience more lead-generation success.